At least eight leaders of the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación —a regional coordinating body of local unions within the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación—were simultaneously arrested by federal police and charged with serious, unfounded criminal offenses, which many observers believe were in reprisal for the union’s political mobilization. The union leaders were taken to prisons far from Oaxaca, including federal prisons reserved for the worst violent offenders and narco-traffickers.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has published a resolution on this unacceptable situation and expresses its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
AFT demands the immediate release of CNTE leaders incarcerated in federal prison, and demands the government of Mexico cease its policy of arbitrary and unjustified harassment of trade unionists, who have absolute right to conduct independent trade union activities, freely and without reprisal, under international conventions that Mexico has ratified.
The AFT resolution also urges the government to open an immediate, thorough, impartial and independent investigation into the violence—public and transparent, with complete regard for due process and the rule of law—including allegations of excessive force used by police; the government of Mexico has an obligation to adhere to international norms and standards in protecting the universally recognized rights of freedom of association and assembly.
Read the complete resolution here (PDF).